Elegant and seductive Bordeaux is like one of its fine wines, once experienced, never forgotten.
The Port of the Moon, as Bordeaux is often called due to it being on a crescent-shaped bend on the River Garonne (South-West France), has like Paris a right and left bank and is broken up into districts. As the city is much smaller it is easier to get around. I love the high-tech tram system.
One of the star attractions of the city is the Cathédral Saint-André, renowned for its superb architecture and Tour Pey-Berland, a 15th century bell tower. One of the most striking landmarks is the Gross Cloche, a big bell from the Middle Ages.
Bordeaux looks magnificent whatever the weather. As you would expect from such a sophisticated city there are some amazing restaurants.
Le Pressoir d'Argent in The Regent Grand Hotel Bordeaux, the city’s smartest address, and where I stayed, was my favourite. The beautiful French décor of this Michelin-starred restaurant made me feel as if I was back in the 18th century – the period known as Bordeaux’s Golden Age – reliving the glamour of this era.
Another superb eaterie is La Tupina, a country-styled restaurant in the heart of the city which specialises in south-western French cuisine. Also check out Le Gabriel in the ornate Place de la Bourse with its Fountain of the Three Graces which has superb views of the river.
This is a city where you will want to make sure that your hair is styled to perfection and that you are dressed immaculately when you go out at night.
In general French women always look so well turned-out. Their secret is how they put themselves together. By and large they wear clothes that fit them and that flatter their shape. They tend to opt for classic tailoring updated with a contemporary twist usually in the form of accessories such as the bag of the moment. They invest in key pieces in quality fabrics. Simple and elegant seems to be their mantra. Maybe this is a lesson we can learn when we next go shopping.
By Daralyn Danns
Eurostar (www.eurostar.com) offers connecting services to Bordeaux, return fares from £109. Tip: go via Lille, it’s an easier connection than Paris
The Regent Grand Hotel Bordeaux (www.theregentbordeaux.com) rooms per night from €320 (approx £300)